Since its 2011 rebirth, Indian has consistently released excellent—and powerful—touring bikes and cruisers. But the company isn’t all about the high-end of the market. It also makes some entry-level bikes, in the form of the Scout lineup. And, adding to Harley-Davidson’s woes, Indian has now released an even more affordable version. It’s the Indian Scout Sixty Bobber, and it takes cues from a popular form of bike customization.
What is a bobber?
Influenced by dirt-track racers, owners started mimicking the stripped-down, light-weight-focused style. They removed anything that wasn’t strictly necessary, installing smaller (and lighter) wheels, and cutting down the frame. This approach extended to removing the front fender, and cutting down—or ‘bobbing’—the rear one. Hence, ‘bobber’.
At first, bobbers were purely custom works. You couldn’t order one from the bike manufacturer, only DIY or go to a shop. Now, though, as with scramblers and café racers, bikemakers have started offering bobber-style bikes direct from the factory.
Triumph and Harley-Davidson already have some bobber-style bikes available. In fact, Indian, too, has a bobber, too, based on the Scout. The Indian Scout Sixty Bobber is a somewhat more approachable machine.
The first Indian Scout Sixty
Before the Scout Sixty Bobber, Indian had the non-bobber Scout Sixty.
As The Drive explains, the Scout Sixty was basically a slightly de-contented version of the normal Scout. The two bikes used the same basic engine, only the Sixty’s was modified from 1.1 liters to 1 liter. Power dropped, then, from 100 hp to 78. The Sixty also came with a 5-speed, not 6-speed. However, instead of removing the top 6th gear, Indian removed 5th gear. This meant riders still got low-down power with good highway fuel economy.
Indian Scout Sixty Bobber details
Indian’s repeated the procedure with the Scout Sixty Bobber.
Instead of the Scout Bobber’s 1.1-liter 100-hp V-twin, the Scout Sixty Bobber has a 1.0-liter V-twin, making 78 hp. And, just like the Scout Sixty, it has a 5-speed transmission. But, just like the non-bobber Sixty, it’s lighter than the full-size Scout Bobber. The Indian Scout Sixty Bobber weighs 548 lbs, 24 lbs less than the Scout Bobber. The Sixty is also about 2” shorter, Autoblog reports, though the two bikes’ wheelbases are roughly identical.
To turn the Scout Sixty into a bobber, Indian blacked out the engine and clutch covers, exhaust, frame, handlebars, mirrors and turn signals. Cycle World reports the five-spoke cast-aluminum wheels are new, and also blacked out. And, of course, Indian cut the fenders down. To complete the look, the license plate is now side-mounted, and there are new LED taillights with integrated brake and turn lights.
There’s one instrument, which combines an analog speedometer with a digital tachometer. The black gauge also contains the usual status and warning lights, including a low-fuel light.
Suspension travel was decreased slightly, to only 2”, which also lowers the seat height; helpful for new and shorter riders. The seat itself is different: only a solo seat is available. The footpegs were moved 1.5” up, and the new handlebars’ curved design makes riders lean forward slightly. This matches, Cycle World reports, what Indian did to turn the Scout into the Scout Bobber.
Pricing and options
The Indian Scout Sixty Bobber, like the regular Scout Sixty, starts at $8,999. The only color option is Thunder Black, though there is a matte option. ABS is also available as an $800 option.
As with the rest of its lineup, Indian offers a range of accessories for the Scout Sixty Bobber. If the standard perch-mount mirrors aren’t working for you, you can get bar-end ones. Indian also offers extended- and reduced-reach controls, in case the standard riding position isn’t suitable. There are also a variety of performance parts, including air intakes and exhausts.
The Indian Scout Sixty Bobber’s competition
At the sub-$9k price point, the Indian Scout Sixty Bobber doesn’t really have much competition.
In terms of bobbers, there’s Indian’s full-size Scout Bobber, Triumph’s Bonneville Bobber, and Harley-Davidson’s Street Bob. All are more expensive than the Scout Sixty Bobber, by $2000, $3000, and $5600, respectively. And although the Triumph has a 1.2-liter engine, it makes the same amount of power as the Scout Sixty.
Both Cycle World and Ride Apart found Indian’s bike more comfortable than the Triumph or Harley, though the Bonneville is arguably the better-looking. And RideApart found the Street Bob harder to maneuver, not to mention heavier, than the Indian Scout. It is worth noting, though, that bobber-style bikes’ decreased suspension travel does them less comfortable on rough roads, according to Revzilla.
Harley-Davidson does offer another bike at the Scout Sixty Bobber’s price, the Iron 883. Like the Scout Sixty, it has a 5-speed transmission, though its V-twin is slightly smaller, at 883cc. It’s also about 16 lbs heavier than the Scout Sixty Bobber, according to Cycle World. And the Iron 883 makes less torque, 54 lb-ft vs the Indian’s 65 lb-ft.
If you’re looking for a stylish American-made urban commuter at a reasonable price, the Indian Scout Sixty Bobber is tough to beat.
Follow more updates from MotorBiscuit on our Facebook page.